changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

Musings with too many water based references. September 6, 2013

The gaps get longer and longer between blog entries but I can’t quite walk away from here. Its knocking on for four years since I started writing… thats a lot of words and thoughts and emotion to let adrift into the ether to find its own way without me.

I think I can safely say there have been interesting times… the best of times and the worst of times. But maybe without the ‘best of’ bit.

And now?

Still recovering from the dose of cancer…still picking myself up physically and mentally from the feat of endurance that is getting through cancer and its treatment.

Still recovering from having a partner transition.

Still not over the emotional deluge…. I find myself now with ‘baggage’. I used to think it just meant being encumbered with children and the general detritus of past relationships…. now I know its more than that. Deeper than that. Far harder than that.

There are scars in my ability to trust that still itch deep.

There are dints in my sense of self that don’t just pop back to normal on the bounce.

In fact I don’t quite bounce emotionally like I used to once upon a time a long time ago.

I can still leap into being with someone like a kid into a paddling pool..sheer joy and sparkly water… but then I panic about the sharks.

What sharks?

Exactly.

No sharks.

But there might be.

Like the monsters under the bed…one can never be sure. Even when the water is crystal clear.

So here we are… me and my baggage…

Its been a wonderful summer. There have been friends and relatives and sunshine and good food.

There have been bottles of wine drunk, games of scrabble played and the fumblings and writhings of a new relationship.

Trying not to remember that after happiness comes the pain.

Sharks at four o clock.

Just in time for tea.

If I cancel out the transition…forget it..blank it totally: I used to go out with a bloke called John, we split up about three and a half years ago. Since then there have been a couple of people…. see.. all normal… no real baggage there.

Trouble is since I split up with John there has been this huge emotional earthquake, followed by a tsunami that I’ve forced myself through and its affected every single part of my life.

I SO want to let it go.

Just let it go….

My baggage is like the Old Man of the Sea and it doesn’t feel like the separation is my decision.

But I can’t hope for the past to let go of me instead of me letting go of the past.

 I just have to say that I am the sum total of my past days and stick to that like I stuck to ‘not minding’ that my partner was transitioning or that there was a chance of my dying.

I can be very stubborn like that.

So this is the person I am.

Amidst the moments of crushing insecurity I walk accross the heads of sharks.

 

 

 

No man is an island…. March 22, 2013

Filed under: politics,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 10:31 am
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I wonder how Richard Littlejohn feels.

I wouldn’t like – in fact I refuse to see him bloated and happy in a leather office chair, whisky in hand, chortling at the fact that another tranny just hit the dust.

I hate even to think he’d be hardened enough, by a life of journalism and the faux security of only ever spouting ‘opinion’ (which as any fule knos doesn’t count towards negative effect on people), to be lying in bed reading todays stories about Lucy Meadows’ death thinking ‘hey ho’ and moving on to the sports pages.

When our lives touch another persons even briefly it ties us to them… whatever your job and whoever you are but some careers have more effect on other people.

This is the case for teachers most definitely… every child who passes through a teachers class takes a piece of that teacher with them and a little piece of the child stays in that class. Even as an ex classroom assistant I’ve had children get back in touch after a decade or so to remind me of something we did, something they learnt, sometimes to say thankyou…. for a teacher over the years that feeling, year on year, must be amazing…. that you’ve sent children onwards into life better people for being in your class.

That feeling has been taken away from primary school teacher Lucy Meadows.

The same applies to journalists… every person whose life story you touch is linked to you. I doubt there is a paid journalist in the country who can say they ‘only’ ever write good positive things about people… good positive things tend not to be newsworthy…. merely ‘worthy’ – and papers avoid worthy as a rule.

I guess over the years, if you write negatively about people, you have to cut off from those you write about, cease to see them as people in the real world with feelings and emotions. You have to disassociate your words from reality in case you have to admit they have an effect.

Maybe thats why so many seasoned journos turn to drink… its not just the long paid lunches… but the need to forget.

Thats why I wonder today how Richard Littlejohn feels, has the death of Lucy Meadows punctured his veneer?

I know in our house her death has upset us… not only for the sheer waste of a life tragedy of it, not just becuase as she was a transwoman we have common experience and empathy for her story but also when the original monstering of her took place late last year Jane connected with the story and counteracted and corrected the damage of the mainstream press as best she could  and then wrote a thoughtful piece that moved the story on in the New Statesman.

But to wake up and know that the way you touched someones life was so negative that their life was made a misery, that they had to take time out from a job they loved, that they… well… the coronor report isn’t back yet… but chances are that Lucy took her own life.

It’s not just Littlejohn, though his voice and therefore impact are the largest. Its the badly written articles (even now surrounding Lucy’s death), misgendering, sniping, insulting, demeaning. Its the person who took the story of their childs teacher to the press… its every parent who reveled in their ignorance in the playground about a teachers ‘otherness’.

It’s everyone who turns and points and laughs in the street at someone for being different.

It’s everyone who reads the papers for ‘this’ sort of story.

So no it’s not just Littlejohn…. but this story… this one story… lets let him own it. Let him have the death certificate of Lucy Meadows in a frame on his office desk.

I’m sure, underneath the justification of ‘getting paid’ ‘only having opinions’ and needing to support his family he must feel awful… he MUST, he’d be inhuman not to, and he needs to hold on to that feeling with all his might.

 

QUILTBAG January 31, 2013

Filed under: politics,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 8:32 pm
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Acronyms – love ’em or loathe ’em you have to admit it helps if they are memorable and even better make something pronouncable.

I just came accoss QUILTBAG which I love (I’ve no idea how common its usage is… but it sure as hell beats the LGBTQII malarky… which just builds on the LGBT still much used in the more on the ball mainstream).

It stands (in case you can’t be arsed to click through) for “Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer” which I think covers most bases.

Its sayable and memorable…especially becuase of the rainbowness…..rainbowality… whatever…. quiltbag a treasure trove of ranbow fabrics that put together can make something incredibley awesome and beautiful.

 

So what have the transsexuals ever really done to you? January 13, 2013

Filed under: thinks,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 4:00 pm
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let’s get the chips on shoulder competition out of the way…..

I come from working class Lancashire/Yorkshire stock – which makes me some sort of vile disowned crossbreed culturally.

I’m undereducated, never had a work ethic instilled in me… never achieved.

Ive been beaten up by the men in my life and abused in various other ways.

But I don’t tend to usually define myself by any of that.

Over the last few years (as I was dragging myself out of post natal depression) my partner came out as a transsexual and has had a totally public transitiional journey… and believe me… thats a hard thing to handle… harder than being a single mum with a kid (I’ve done that too).

I’ve now got cancer… it’s brought my menopause on apace.

And no-one has ever taken me anywhere for lobster and Bolly.

But even if all that was the sort of stuff to make me into a bitter and twisted feminist… I don’t think I’d ever abuse the very lucky position of privilege, that writing for the national media brings, by attacking another group of people.

I’m happy to see Julie Burchills piece in the Guardian/Observer Cif.

It shines a light on her with a clarity we’ve not had before.

Its the best thing to do with hate and bigotry… not ban it…. not take it down.

But shine a light on it so all can see.

 

trans choices January 9, 2013

Filed under: trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 6:03 pm
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Oh go on… we’ve not had a trans blog, and certainly not a political trans blog in a while.

The ‘community is up in arms at present (well they were last night but today most have probably gone back to concentrating on nail varnish and hating all the other trans factions) over the witch hunt of a certain Dr Curtis.

Now… there arent many gender specialists in the country and as far as I know Dr Curtis is the only privately operating gender specialist….. so if you can afford to… if you are disillusioned with the NHS grinding painfully towards your transition… you can go and see Dr Curtis (just off Harley Street).

He will treat you according to internationally approved guidelines… that is… he will treat you as an individual and your transitional path will meet your personal needs – more than can be said for the one size fits all route littered with gatekeepers in the NHS.

Unfortunately…. some complaints have been made. One a ‘child’ of 17 who attended an appointment sans parents -though I can think of no other medical situation where parents MUST be present at that age (Gillick principle and all that).

Another on prescribing.

And a third… an unfortunate regretter…. though given just how many forms you have to fill in to have a double masectomy and how many times you are asked ‘are you sure?’ -it takes a certain sort of mentality to become a real regretter…. but it happens and it’s unfortunate.

For this Dr Curtis is being investigated by the General Medical Council.

Compare his position (which is basically equivalent in someones transition to a GP) to many many other GPs around the country…. the stories of GPs refusing to treat, denying money is available for, laughing at, blocking trans individuals (bear in mind how much courage it often takes to just get into a GPs to talk about it)…. those GPs very rarely get hauled up before the GMC.

In fact most people daren’t complain about the treatment they get on the NHS becuase they fear their treatment will be jeopordised or stopped.

It makes me realise how lucky Jane has been with our GPs who have been brilliant, theyve been patient centred and led in all the contact they have with us and had that carried on to specialist level Jane would have had very little need to go private and see Dr Curtis at all.

If Dr Curtis loses his license then that leaves a gaping hole in the treatment of trans people in this country and certainly not one that can be filled by the lowest common denominator system about to be embarked on when funding disappears with PCTs.

You’d think the likes of the Daily Mail (any excuse to bash da trans) and Charing Cross (self appointed centre of da trans universe) would be happy some people taking their money and shopping around outside the NHS purse.

But no…. obviously not… as god forbid ALL trans individuals would want to be treated as erm…individuals if some of them are.

 

A Poem by Gill McEvoy January 2, 2013

Filed under: cancer,poem,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 10:35 pm

My cousin’s, husband’s sister sent me this… and I like it enough to share.

Let’s Get This Straight

It’s not “being positive”

that gets you through. No,

it’s something grittier – sharp, capable of hurt:

it would have you grabbing the very last crumb

from under your best friend’s nose,

it’s savage, stubborn, it’s made of steel –

if you were in business the whole world

would hate your guts. So

the next person to come along and say

“Think positive” and all that sort of crap

will get it right between the eyes.

For I’m a hard woman now:

I am diamond, carborundum,

and I wipe out fools.

Gill McEvoy

 

Three years on… December 30, 2012

Filed under: trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 11:33 am

I’m prossibly as confused at this point than I was when I wrote ‘Two Years On’ almost a year ago.

Buuuut…. yanno…. I’ve got more things to be confused about which in itself is positive as my life no longer revolves around Janes transition.

I like to think that had I done my massage course last year when I first mooted it, or had I not been ill most of this year culminating in being very ill and having chemotherapy… I might be living somewhere else by this point, with the boy and the dog.

In reality that’s just not practical, as co-parents and people who have been in a relationship nearly a decade life isn’t just that easy or simple.

But the mental shift is made.

Much as I loved John, unfortunate that it was that my falling in love and commiting to someone coincided with (and perhaps in some way enabled) that person totally changing their life… Jane is not John.

There are similarieties and traits… they are the same person… but Jane is not John.

Okay…Jane is not John. So what now?

I guess its where we’ve been all along – finding someway to balance our family responsibilities and our individual needs.

Ideally with my mum becoming more in need of care I should be over in Cheshire helping my sister.

Ideally Jane should be living close to us so the boy can maintain some sense of having two parents who love and want to parent him.

Ideally I need to have some level of financial independece.

Ideally…. Jane would be John and all this shit would go away. (or maybe it wouldn’t)

But at least I understand where I am now… I’m at the same stage I was with my marriage. I know the situation is not working… that its not feasible in it’s present form… its just finding a solution that suits everyone concerned… especially me.

I’ve lived through the most challenging of times… and now with cancer (described as the biggest challenge most people will face in their lives) it feels like I have to be the one to be put first.

But I suspect the only person who is going to do that is me.

And I’m still not totally ready. (or more importantly able)

I know what John would have done about this… he’d have come up with a solution that worked for me (for us all) and made it happen.

Jane?

I’ve not got the foggiest what she’ll do…. she’s a law unto herself.

 

Hair today…. December 11, 2012

Filed under: cancer,home stuff,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 11:34 am
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yay….highly original [not] title for the long awaited hair loss blog.

The chemo I’m on is R CHOP and hair loss is pretty much definite…. its something I’ve been quite excited about as I spent chunks of my youth with a number 1 or number 2…. sometimes bequiffed…most oftener not. I like not having hair… I like the way it makes you have to face the world full square on and have nowhere to hide.

I think everyone should have their hair lopped off drastically at least once in their lives just to feel the freedom of it. Hair is something surrounded by a huge amount of emotion and identitiy

Last time I cut off all my hair was about twelve years ago… for charity. (I didn’t let on it was no great burden for me and raised a fair old chunk of dosh as my hair was very long at the time) But I decided then I was getting too full faced to get away with it really.

So now…. thinner of face (and most other parts) than I’ve been since my early twenties, the whole hair loss thing just hasn’t worried me.

Its one of those things that people go into sympathy mode about and the wigs v scarves debate kicks in early.

So.. yesterday it started.

In the shower in hospital, trying to get the tangles  with my fingers rinsing the shampoo out and I came away with almost a handful….

wow… it’s just strange.

This morning at home the boy and I took turns in seeing who could get the most in one go and then i made an appointment at the hairdressers to go and have it all taken back to a number 2…. just to save on the hoovering, or me getting hair balls or something.

I suspect total baldness feels very different from even a number 1.

But for the record… if I get a wig its just to please the boy…. I’m going hats and scarves or naked when its warm enough.

Interestingly Jane and I were talking about it briefly this morning and she seemed quite pro-wig… but when she transitioned in the early days she was totally anti-wig for herself… not so adamant later on when she could see them as a fun accessory.

She tells me thats different… but I don’t think it is at all.

Its about self identity… I don’t need a wig to make me who I am… same as Jane didn’t need a wig or fillets to make her Jane.

If I get a wig, like I said, it will be to make someone else happy (something that wasn’t an option in Janes identity struggle) or for sheer entertainment if I can find something totally Dolly Partonesque… and who wouldn’t say yes to that!

Oh…and also for the record I’m not in the market for a merkin either… but yes it is.

Hmmm… maybe I should be weaving my headhair into merkins and selling them on Etsy… damn…another money making plan considered just too late.

 

damn dem trans (fats) July 26, 2012

Filed under: home stuff,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 1:34 pm
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…and we’re off to a cracking start to the summer holidays.

(although it hardly feels like the boy has broken up as he’s back in the school building for playscheme most mornings for two weeks and music school in the afternoons).

But anyway… a cracking start… a re-occurance of my vomiting and stomach pains of a couple of weeks ago. I sensibly made an emergency doctors appointment for the afternoon… but didn’t quite make it that far as part way through the afternoon the pain was so bad and my hands and feet were going cold and buzzy (ie i’m about to black out) that Jane rang an ambulance… becuase I was still concious they said they’d ring back.

Half an hour later we decided a drive to A&E may be quicker but I couldn’t make it down stairs. A quick vomit on the bathroom floor and a lay down in said vomit made me feel a whole lot better…in some ways… but not in others.

We had a bit of a secondary panic as the boy needed picking up from school, but Jane organised a mum to pick him up and feed him (thankyou Emma)! She even came and made me feel better than I had done all day by being sympathetic and agreeing it could be my gall bladder. (a bit of medical training goes a long way with me).

At this point the ambulance service thought they’d ring and have a chat (an hour after we rang them)… by now my pain was a mere ‘2’ as opposed to a ’25’… ‘oh says helpful lady… I’m surprised you didn’t ring us earlier’…. no you dim bint… you are an emergency service and some of us only ring once we REALLY feel its an emergency…ie we can’t cope at home and don’t know what else to do.
Maybe the majority of the population ring when their takeaway doesn’t arrive or they’ve run out of Aloe Vera tissues but in this house we tend to use emergency servies when we feel truly lost and desperate.

But that aside she remade my appointment at the doctors for me that i’d missed in all the excitement of not being able to move out of my vomit pool.

The doctor in due course poked me a bit and declared it most likely is my gall bladder and should it flare up again go straight to A&E… do not phone the doctor….don’t bother with an ambulance… do not pick up your £200… just GO.

Had I made it there earlier today mid attack they would most likely have hospitalised me and I’d be sans gall bladder by now.

As it is… I have some anti-biotics and the joy that is knowing my next flare up could happen at any time… whooppee!!!

This feeling of semi-terror is made worse by the fact Jane was due to be away three nights on the trot…so I’d have to stumble about in the night waking neighbours for childcare and getting myself to hospital.

Last night she decided to make it home… tonight she may…or may not. And Friday Annie and Henry the dog are coming over.

In other news… I’m to stick to as close to a no fat diet as possible… though having been t’interneting I’m okay with ‘nice’ fats… its mostly those nasty old trans fats I’m to stay away from… damn them pesky trans the bane of my life 🙂

 

Bon Fanniversaire to Jane July 12, 2012

Filed under: home stuff,trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 6:22 pm
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Happy Fanniversary to Jane Fae’s flange.

This time a year ago we were down in Brighton and Jane had just had her grs.

Has it made a difference?

Yeah…

In her…. she’s more confident in who she is… she is woman hear her ROAR…well… at least whinge about her nails and stuff.

I guess the bottom line is that in the world we live in women have fannies and men have todgers… those of us more aware of the finer details/arguements/politics of gender know that aint neccessarily so…. but yanno…

…for the man on the omnibus (ok…maybe not Kings Cross at 5.30 am)! if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and has a fanny its a woman…or at least a freaky type duck you can fuck.

So it must give Jane that assurance at some level…as she is a product of our society that when shit comes to shove and we all get dropped one side of the gender fence or the other… yeah yeah… the fence with only two sides… not the gender maze.

She comes down as woman (goes down…i’m not so sure about)!?!

Other than that.. in her day to day life I guess its made her habits more feminine..she can proudly display a camel toe… wee sitting down with her hands in the air…obsess about another area of feminine hygene and aesthetics… and I ‘believe’ (but only through following her blog) that she masturbates and orgasms… (too much info? – sorry dear readers of a sensitive disposition).

And me….

We’….ll … all that psychological effect has knock on effect on me .. the actual change in anatomy makes no difference.

I do wonder occassionally if I hadn’t gazed into her recently post op nether-maw resplendent in blood and gore and tearing stitches (not to mention the huge haematoma), whether I’d have had a little more curiosity about the whole thing.

I guess we’ll never know if i’m traumatised by gory gash or merely taking the easy option… or then again sticking to either of those is better than accepting I now have a partner who has privates which are erm… actually private ; and that its her choice to keep them so.

I’ve always been an open door person… a look at this…put your finger there person… no holds barred, no secrets – no physical nooks and crannies beyond the pale.

Until now.

I miss the casual intimacy of living with someone whose body is as familiar as my own… not just sexually.. but in the scratch that for me…can you get that zit for me sort of way.

We sleep apart, don’t share a bathroom, do share a child and live together.

I’m still commited to our relationship… but that goes beyond genitalia.. the relationship stands as it is through ten years of ups and downs and shared experience.

But I miss having a physical  partner in so many different ways.

In that respect I’m thankful for the freedom Jane is happy me having.. without physicality with other people I think I’d go bonkers.

But in ideal world… its nice to have that at home.

 

 
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